Sir Robin Jacob to lead IP law at UCL

15 June 2010

  • Press Release

The Rt Hon. Sir Robin Jacob, a highly respected voice in legal thinking and practice, has been appointed as the first Sir Hugh Laddie Chair in Intellectual Property (IP) Law at UCL.

The Laddie Chair, funded by charitable contributions, is part of a globally recognised centre of excellence in UCL’s Faculty of Laws, offering direct value to academics, practitioners and industry alike. The announcement will be made today at the 2010 Sir Hugh Laddie Lecture, and Sir Robin will take up his post in 2011.

Robin Jacob

As first holder of the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair, Sir Robin takes on the Directorship of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL), fostering the potential strength of UCL in London as a centre for intellectual property practice and scholarship. He will serve as a powerful force for building bridges between academics, the judiciary, policy-makers, the professions and users of the intellectual property system. He will help to shape a multi-disciplinary research agenda on intellectual property, within UCL and worldwide. He will also manage a successful seminar series on cutting-edge IP issues.

With more than 30 years’ experience, Sir Robin practised at the Intellectual Property Bar from 1967, was made a Queen’s Counsel in 1981 and served as a High Court Judge (Chancery Division) from 1993 to 2003. He was appointed a Lord Justice of Appeal in October 2003, and is currently in charge of the Court of Appeal’s Intellectual Property List. He has written extensively on all forms of intellectual property. He often lectures, mainly on IP topics, in the UK and abroad. He hopes to be able to continue sitting part-time in the Court of Appeal on intellectual property cases.

Sir Robin Jacob said: “This is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I can carry on what my old and dear friend Hugh started so brilliantly. His imaginative establishment of IBIL was a significant event. Under him IBIL had started to become a major force for debate and constructive thinking, about IP Law not only in Europe but the world generally. My intention is to build on what Hugh started: to make UCL one of the key world centres for practical IP law research and teaching. UCL has the talented staff and suitable environment to make that happen.”

Professor Dame Hazel Genn QC, Dean of the UCL Law Faculty said: “This appointment is a tremendous coup for UCL Laws. Sir Robin has been at the forefront of promoting an IP system which supports genuine innovation. With his track record of deciding IP cases as a senior judge, and having chaired the Copyright Tribunal and a specialist trade mark tribunal, Sir Robin has unrivalled experience. His great energy will help to forge relations with other disciplines and countries. It is impossible to think of anyone better qualified.”

UCL’s Provost and President, Professor Malcolm Grant, who chaired the panel that appointed Sir Robin Jacob, said: “Hugh Laddie laid the foundations for a world-leading intellectual property institute at UCL, and there would be nobody better than Robin Jacob to complete the task. He is simply an outstanding intellectual property lawyer, and will make a great contribution to the subject and to UCL.”

Professor Sir Hugh Laddie, who died in November 2008, was perhaps the leading judge and academic in the field of intellectual property law (trademarks, patents, copyright). He had a formidable reputation in the UK and around the world. Quite simply, Sir Hugh was one of the most distinguished and inventive lawyers of his generation. After retiring from the bench in 2005, he was appointed Professor of Intellectual Property Law at UCL where he founded the well-respected Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL).

To continue the legacy of Sir Hugh, UCL has now created an academic Chair funded by charitable contributions in his memory. The Sir Hugh Laddie Chair will be part of a dynamic, practical academic centre of excellence for intellectual property matters at UCL and will offer direct value to practitioners and major law firms.

Thanks to the generosity of private donors, UCL Laws has been able to make this appointment of Sir Robin Jacob as Director of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL). His Chair, along with travel funding for two visiting scholars each year from countries such as India and China to attend UCL Laws, represents the first phase of fundraising for the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair. It has an overall target of £1.5 million.

Contact: Dominique Fourniol


UCL Context

The Sir Hugh Laddie Chair in Intellectual Property Law

Professor Sir Hugh Laddie, who died in November 2008, was perhaps the leading judge and academic in the field of intellectual property law (trademarks, patents, copyright). He had a formidable reputation in the UK and around the world. Sir Hugh was one of the most distinguished and inventive lawyers of his generation. After retiring from the bench in 2005, he was appointed Professor of Intellectual Property Law at UCL where he founded the well-respected Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL).

To continue the legacy of Sir Hugh, UCL has now created an academic Chair funded by charitable contributions in his memory. The Sir Hugh Laddie Chair will be part of a dynamic, practical academic centre of excellence for intellectual property matters at UCL and will offer direct value to practitioners and major law firms.

Thanks to the generosity of private donors, UCL Laws has been able to make this appointment of Sir Robin Jacob as Director of the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL). His Chair, along with travel funding for two visiting scholars each year from countries such as India and China to attend UCL Laws, represents the first phase of fundraising for the Sir Hugh Laddie Chair. It has an overall target of £1.5 million.